In Your Town. On Your Team.

Request Free Consultation

What is the Average Settlement for a Drunk Driving Accident?

average settlement drunk driving accident

Experiencing an accident caused by a drunk driver can be an overwhelming and stressful situation. If you find yourself in such a scenario, you may be wondering how to secure the appropriate compensation for your injuries and damages. While every case is unique, there are steps you can take to potentially increase the value of your settlement. This article will discuss what actions will be beneficial after being hit by a drunk driver and what factors affect the average settlement for a drunk driving accident. 

Seek Legal Representation Immediately

In the event of an accident involving an impaired driver, it is crucial to contact an experienced lawyer in your area promptly. At McCoy & Sparks, we specialize in assisting injured victims in Kentucky and have a wealth of experience in recovering rightful compensation for our clients.

Alarming Rise: Kentucky’s Drunk Driving Statistics Surged in 2020

Before delving into the details, it’s important to be aware of the drunk driving statistics in Kentucky. Despite a decrease in the overall number of collisions due to the pandemic, alcohol-related accidents witnessed a significant increase in 2020. The number of drunk driving accidents rose 38% from 2019 to 2020 in Kentucky compared to 14.3 percent nationwide. 

  • There were 4,978 alcohol-related accidents in Kentucky in 2020.
  • Victims suffered minor injuries in 1,033 accidents and severe injuries in 527.
  • Of those tested, 78% of drunk drivers had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.10% or higher.
  • Fayetteville County and Jefferson County saw the highest number of drunk driving accidents with 393 and 513 respectively.
  • There were 153 fatal drunk driving accidents resulting in 181 deaths.

Factors Influencing Case Value

Determining the average settlement for a drunk driving accident is challenging due to the individual factors at play. Details and circumstances that affect your case’s value include:

  • Types of injuries and their severity
  • The total cost of medical treatment and interventions
  • Loss of current and future income
  • Future medical needs (i.e. adaptive medical technology)
  • Pain and suffering
  • Location where the driver was drinking
  • Strength of evidence against the driver

The extent and type of injuries sustained during the accident significantly impact the case value. Severe, catastrophic, or permanent injuries typically lead to higher settlements compared to minor injuries that heal relatively quickly.

Assessing Insurance Coverage

The available insurance coverage also affects the settlement. If the impaired driver’s insurance denies coverage or carries low liability limits, the compensation amount may be limited. In such cases, exploring other potentially responsible parties, pursuing a claim through your uninsured or underinsured coverage (UM/UIM), or directly suing the drunk driver (assuming they have the means to pay) may be necessary to collect the full amount of damages.

What Size Settlement Can I Expect?

Every accident is different and every settlement is different. However, there are some patterns and details that indicate how much of a settlement is possible for your case. In Kentucky, drivers are required to carry a minimum of $25,000 in car insurance. Because of this, you will likely see at least that much in a car accident settlement sum. However, due to the negligence involved in a drunk driving accident, you may see as much as $80,000 up to $125,000.

In cases where the other party acted irresponsibly, the court may award punitive damages on top of your accident settlement. Punitive damages may be awarded if the responsible party:

  • Acted maliciously
  • Intended to harm you or someone else
  • Exhibited negligent behavior
  • Attempted to commit fraud in some way

In most cases, the court does not look favorably upon individuals who were acting irresponsibly and injured or killed someone else. There is a good possibility that you will be awarded punitive damages in your case because of this.

Tips to Maximize Your Settlement

To increase the potential settlement for a drunk driving accident, it is crucial to take certain actions immediately after the incident:

  1. Hire a Drunk Driving Lawyer: Insurance companies may try to take advantage of victims who do not have legal representation. A skilled attorney will protect your rights and ensure you are not shortchanged by insurance companies’ lowball offers.
  1. Document Evidence: If it is safe to do so, gather evidence at the accident scene by taking photos or videos, and of course, report the drunk driver to the police. Evidence can be invaluable in supporting your version of events and providing a clear depiction of the damage and the surrounding scene.
  1. Keep Detailed Records: Maintain a record of your treatment, pain levels, and how the accident has affected your daily life. Memories can fade over time, so detailed notes will help you recall important details during the settlement process or potential trial.
  1. Seek Immediate Medical Treatment: Promptly seeking medical treatment is essential, as it establishes the link between your injuries and the accident. Insurance adjusters may use any delay in treatment to undermine the severity of your injuries, so timely medical attention is crucial for maximizing your settlement.

Contact a Drunk Driving Lawyer Today

Remember, every case is unique, and there is no average settlement for a drunk driving accident. However, by taking the right steps and working with a dedicated legal team, you can maximize your chances of receiving fair and just compensation for your injuries and damages. With the assistance of experienced Kentucky car accident lawyers at McCoy & Sparks, you can effectively fight for the compensation you deserve. Recognized as one of Central Kentucky’s best law firms for over a decade, we represent thousands of clients in Central Kentucky with a focus on providing premium service and delivering superior results.

You owe us nothing unless we recover compensation for you. Make the right call to (844) 4KY-WINS for a risk-free consultation with one of our attorneys today.